Parabens are used as preservatives in cosmetic products like shampoos, moisturisers, makeup and toothpaste, they can be used as a food additive.

Parabens may have some potential links to some types of cancer and early onset of puberty in girls though the evidence behind this is not clear, and they are still deemed safe for use in cosmetic products as they are only used in small amounts. Due to the amount of press that parabens have gotten over the past few years, both food and cosmetics companies have started to phase them out of their products.